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Bill Thayer

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Intimations of a Naumachia:

The Roman Amphitheatre of Saintes


[image ALT: A group of arched stone ruins around a pond, with a massive Gothic tower in the background to the right. It is a view of the remains of the Roman amphitheater in Saintes, western France, after a severe rainstorm.]

The remains of the amphitheater after a heavy rain.

Photograph © Damon Allen Davison; by kind permission.

This unusual view gives you some idea of how a naumachia might have looked: those mock naval battles the Romans held in amphitheatres or circuses specially flooded for the purpose. For the basic details of the naumachia, see this article of Smith's Dictionary; and careful! I'm not saying there were naumachiae in this amphitheatre: there almost certainly weren't.


[image ALT: A pond in the foreground; on the shore in the background, a group of arched stone ruins around a pond, with a massive Gothic tower behind them. It is a view of the remains of the Roman amphitheater in Saintes, western France, after a severe rainstorm.]

Photograph © Damon Allen Davison; by kind permission.


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Page updated: 29 Sep 06